On Monday, 22 November, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, is pleased to announce the progress in the establishment of Law Enforcement Technical Area Teams (LETAT) in strategically identified areas, as the first leg of the establishment of the Area Based Teams (ABTs).
LETATs can be thought of as “local area law enforcement teams”, with different role-players having different functions, convened by SAPS station commanders.
It is a coordinating mechanism for law enforcement agencies and their partners at a local, area-based level. Neighbourhood watches and community policing forums will also participate in LETATs.
Several agencies and Institutions played various roles in the precursor to the LETAT, with the first one estasblished in Bishop Lavis in April 2021, with Atlantis, Beaufort West, Delft, Gugulethu, Harare, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Swartland, and Theewaterskloof being added since.
Minister Fritz said, “collaboration is the name of the game. The basic methodology was used to great effect in July when the whole country was on high alert for looting. In the Western Cape, we were able to bring together all role players, from Metro Police, LEAP, the K9 Units, to traffic and municipal law enforcement around the province, to neighbourhood watches and private security companies; everyone was able to work together in support of General Patekile and the provincial SAPS. And when the threat of looting was averted, we were able to shift focus to the taxi violence and quell that. So now we want to localize the same kind of effective collaboration to make our communities safer. And LETAT is the vehicle to do that.”
Minister Fritz continued, “we have been working very hard, despite the hampering effects of the third wave of Covid, to realise the establishment of LETATs. I am therefore very happy that we are finally able to take this step, and that the Provincial Safety Plan takes further shape.”
Minister Fritz concluded, “we are taking bold steps in this province in the safety space. We are really working long and hard to make our communities safer for each and every one of our citizens. I would like to thank all our staff and partners, including the South African Police Service and the City of Cape Town and other municipalities. Together, we will win the war on crime and make our province safe for all our citizens.”